Black trans activist and Stonewall veteran Miss Major: “All Black lives matter”

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a veteran of the Stonewall uprising, and one of the most well-known Black trans activists in history, has made it clear that Black Lives Matter must include trans people.

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Miss Major spoke about the energy surrounding the early LGBT+ rights movements, and offered her opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I think the riots that they’re having for George Floyd, it is amazing to see,” she told Teen Vogue.

“And I hope that this is a time that they’ll do something about it — some sort of change to make it better, because for Black people — for Black trans folks — it’s really, really hard.”

“I think it’s really sad that they don’t include the transgender people,” she added. “It’s very hard to get adjusted to that.”

Miss Major, who just recently recovered from a stroke, added that she believed this most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests had done more to include Black trans people than earlier protests.

“I think the people who started that movement, Black Lives Matter, are a wonderful bunch of people,” she said, remembering the initial protests that began in the early 2010s.

“They were concerned about the atrocity that transgender people suffered. But when it took off, they seemed to forget that all the Black lives matter,” she said. 

“They forget that it’s wrong to just beat up on somebody because of the fact that they’re a part of a group that doesn’t concern who they are. So in that realm, they slipped up.”

The lack of transgender inclusion is hard to ignore now more than ever, especially since a large number of hate crimes against transgender people have been committed throughout recent years, with a large majority of them being Black trans women. Just days after the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a young Black trans woman, 21-year-old Iyanna Dior, was attacked by a mob of angry Black men and woman at store, while another Black trans woman, 27-year-old Dominique Fells, was murdered and dismembered in Philadelphia not more than a week later. 

Now, Miss Major says that there does seem to be more inclusivity in the movement – she pointed to the protests for Black trans lives across the US last weekend, which she said “did my heart good”.

Protestors have also been saying the name of Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was killed in Florida by a white policeman.

But when asked if she thought Black Lives Matter was more inclusive of Black and queer lives this time around, Miss Major seemed hesitant.

“You know, honey, I would like to believe that,” she said.

“George Floyd caught the nation by surprise, and rightly so. They should pounce immediately on the government,” she continued.

“But along with that, they’ve forgotten that they kill transgender women, transgender men. When do we get justice? And if it’s not fair for us, it’s going to be unfair for the rest of the world. They’ve got to include us. It has to include everybody, or nobody is going to get saved.” 

She adds, “There’s always that nagging suspicion that it doesn’t include my community and I’ve got to make sure that it does.”

Latest Articles

Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.